Local courts, not ICC, have jurisdiction on drug probe—Go

Sen. Christopher Go said Filipinos should be judged by fellow Filipinos before Philippine courts operating under Philippine laws.

The lawmaker also said the International Criminal Court (ICC) has no jurisdiction to “interfere with internal matters of the country.”

Go also said the Philippines has a strong and independent judicial system. “Probes into the war on drugs are presently being conducted by competent authorities. This means, I trust our local judicial system,” Go said.

Go further emphasized that the era when the country had to be dictated by foreigners on how to govern itself has long been over.

Earlier, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. said that his administration would terminate further interaction with the ICC. This comes after the court dismissed the government’s appeal to halt the investigation into the alleged human rights abuses during Duterte’s “war on drugs”.

“That’s it. We have no appeals pending. We have no more actions being taken. So, I suppose that puts an end to our dealings with the ICC,” Marcos said.

“We’re done talking with the ICC. Like what we have been saying from the beginning, we will not cooperate with them in any way, shape, or form,” he added.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla backed Marcos’ decision, and said that no Philippine representative would attend the international tribunal’s proceedings. Remulla criticized the ICC for disrespecting Philippine sovereignty.

Go expressed gratitude to Marcos for his decision to end further engagement with the ICC after it rejected the Philippine government’s appeal.”

He also pointed out that the country had already withdrawn from the Rome Statute during the term of Duterte.

The Philippines withdrew from the Rome Statute, which established the ICC, back in March 2018. This came after an ICC prosecutor launched a preliminary examination into the drug war.

The withdrawal took effect the following year.

The Philippine government argued that the ICC had no jurisdiction over the country and maintained that the alleged crimes should be investigated by local authorities, invoking the principle of complementarity.


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